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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 14:04 GMT
Concern over windfarm guidelines
Wind turbines
More wind turbines could be built across the country
Conservationists in Cumbria are worried that new government guidelines will make it easier for windfarms to get planning permission.

Under new proposals published on Wednesday, more wind turbines could be built in England.

New government guidance to local councils will make it much more difficult for applications to build wind farms to be rejected.

Currently about half of all applications are thrown out, but the new proposals are expected to require councils to take greater account of government targets for non-polluting energy.

It is ultimately important that we protect the setting of the Lake District
Jack Ellerby, Friends of the Lake District
Jack Ellerby from the Friends of the Lake District says the National Park and areas of outstanding natural beauty must be offered more protection.

"We are witnessing the Lake District being defined by wind turbines.

"It is ultimately important that we protect the setting of the Lake District."

But Chris Tomlinson from the British Wind Energy Association says careful consideration will be given to the chosen sites.

'Careful consideration'

"You don't get housing surrounding the National Park.

"You don't get office development or retail development surrounding the Lake District - they are responsibly planned and that's precisely what the windfarms will be doing."

The paper will say that wider environmental and economic benefits of all renewable energy projects, whatever their scale, should be a "significant consideration" in determining planning permissions.

It will also call for regional targets for renewable energy and the prohibition of buffer zones around National Parks and other designated sites.

Wind farms could power up to one in six UK households under government plans to boost renewable energy.

Public comment will now be sought on the draft paper, with submissions to be made to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by 3 January next year.

Plan 'will boost wind power'
05 Nov 03  |  England
Legal protest over windfarm
11 Aug 03  |  Cumbria
Businesses welcome windfarm
13 Mar 03  |  England
1m offer from windfarm firm
24 Sep 02  |  England

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